There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis A. The vaccine is given in two doses six months apart. All people at high risk for infection should consider receiving the vaccine, including close contacts of a person with hepatitis A infection, men who have sex with men, and injection and non-injection drug users. This vaccine is also recommended for people with chronic liver disease (including hepatitis C), people infected with HIV, and people who travel to regions with inadequate sanitation.
Other prevention measures include washing your hands carefully after bowel movements, after sex, before making food, and before eating, drinking or smoking. Make sure genital and anal areas are clean before having sex.
Hepatitis A vaccine side effects
Soreness and redness (mild and short-term) at the injection site
Fever, fatigue, headaches, and flu-like symptoms
The risk of developing a severe allergic reaction (hives, difficulty breathing, and/or swelling of the face or mouth) is extremely rare (less than 1 in 500,000). It usually occurs within the first 15 minutes after the injection so you should remain in the clinic for 15 minutes after each dose of the vaccine. If you have a severe allergic reaction to the first dose, you should not get the second vaccination.
Note: there is no evidence that Hepatitis A vaccination causes any chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Other forms of hepatitis
We also have information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C.